The Four Als

Who can forget Al Capone, the Chicago mobster who profited from Prohibition and murdered and swashbuckled his way to a pot of gold before meeting an untimely end? Forbidding things that people want always seems to lead to violent or insidious forms of exploitation while generating a cast of power-hungry and sometimes flamboyant characters in the process. Today alcohol flows for the taking although other manifestations of constraint, interdiction and taboo flourish as exuberantly as ever. Certain words and phrases have been rigorously proscribed under the rubric of Political Correctness and cadres of petty tyrants and bureaucrats in the media, the political echelon and the academy are raking in obscene salaries applying the rules of speech. Criticism of the reigning shibboleths—readily obtainable abortion as a subsidized right, gay marriage, social entitlements, affirmative action, the campaign against the right to bear arms,  big government, the obsolescence of the Constitution—is met with sanctimonious rectitude and programmatic suppression while the enforcers are promoted to high office, social cachet or plush employment.

No less crucial, the prohibition against carbon, ostensibly to avert “climate change” and to compel industrial temperance, has now become one of the most lucrative enterprises of our time. We should make no mistake about this; the war against carbon is both a repressive imposition and big business. It is prohibition writ large. Many rather colorful if unscrupulous individuals are filling their coffers advocating carbon teetotalism—one thinks of Rajendra Pachauri who heads the IPCC at the United Nations and sits on the boards of companies poised to gain from the “climate change” hoax, including his The Energy Research Institute (TERI), Canadian climate evangelist David Suzuki who benefits from ample foundational largess, and, of course, the redoubtable Al Gore who has not allowed moral principle and practical consistency to interfere with his profiteering agenda. In the words of Ed Driscoll, “Al lives in a mansion, flies around in a private plane, and, this, along with his various business ventures, gives him an overall carbon footprint the size of, well, one giant Manbearpig.”

As I  document in my recent Global Warning: The Trials of an Unsettled Science, Al has done extremely well for himself, buying carbon offsets from the company he co-owns and chairs, Generation Investment Management, partnering with the venture capital investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers that is behind Terralliance, an oil wildcatter, and earning royalties from Pasminco Ltd. for a highly toxic zinc mine on his property. Then there are the tendentious books and erroneous films, and public appearances for which he charges hundreds of thousands of dollars. Al is now well on his way to amassing an indecent fortune that would make Al Capone’s stash look picayune by comparison.

As if this were not enough to satisfy any ordinary man’s craving for enrichment, our aspiring carbon billionaire and homegrown catastrophist has just concluded a deal with yet another Al, to wit, Al Jazeera, to whom he has sold his part-owned Cable TV company for a cool $500 million, yielding a personal profit of $100 million. The fact that Al Jazeera, who lives in fundamentalist Qatar and works for theocratic despot Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, is notoriously anti-American and a source of jihadist propaganda, along with the fact that the sale represents a bargain with presumably hated big oil, does not weigh heavily, apparently, on Al Gore’s conscience. “While conservatives and liberals have plenty to argue about,” writes Jonathan Tobin, “one would have hoped that they would be united in their revulsion against the kind of bias that Al Jazeera exemplifies.” And as Forbes Magazine comments, “Gore is helping a foreign government spread propaganda in the U.S.! He’s doing business with a network that’s sympathetic to terrorists! He’s taking oil money! He’s trying to avoid paying taxes!” (The former vice president sought to close the sale before January to avoid higher taxes in the new year.) It all starts with the prohibition against carbon and petroleum economies. It ends with unseemly opulence at the expense of national well-being and the public good.

Although American Al is taking something of a beating these days from scattered sources, (although not, obviously, from The New York Times and the major networks), his arrangement with Muslim Al will eventually fade from public and media awareness, thanks to the intervention of the most dangerous Al of them all, namely, Al Zheimer. How many American citizens recall—or are even taught—the significant dates of American history, the wisdom and provisions of the Federalist Papers, the Articles of the Constitution, the existence of the Marshall Plan that saved Europe from collapse, and an uncountable trove of important muniments? How many even remember the ravages wrought by Prohibition and the Temperance League of the 1920s and 30s? It is truly astonishing how effective Al Zheimer can be, plying his trade of selective erasure and historical abridgment. We may remember the first three Als as figures in popular lore, but the fourth Al will see to it that we forget the precise nature of the events that bind them in a fraternity of malfeasance, just as we obliterate from consciousness the malign chronicle of Prohibition in all its manifold aspects.

How easily we lapse into that species of collective senescence which forgets that legislative forbidding results mainly in prodigies of mischief and corruption. It would be a blessing if we could only remember how prone we are to forgetfulness. It would be a great advantage if we could bring to mind how Prohibition of one kind or another, from booze to carbon to the study of Islam, inevitably leads to injurious unintended (or intended) consequences. The growing prominence of fiscal and political bootlegging should be entirely expected. But Al Zheimer and the destructive influence of the prohibitionary impulse go hand in hand and guarantee the prosperity and power of the most unsavory characters among us.

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  • AdinaK

    This article aptly describes the red/green alliance, in all its infamy. Its players always morph, benefiting those who seek power/money through ANY means necessary, even if their actions don't appear as such on their face.

    The left is brilliant at exploiting PC psychosis and indoctrinating others into the ills of western capitalism, big oil and all. In their attempt to outlaw and prohibit what will help America and the west flourish, they understand that the ultimate beneficiaries will be the reds and the greens. Al has engorged himself, like leftists always do. He is thrilled to help the green side in the process too.

    Gore is of piece with the Radical/Islamist-in-Chief, and what applies to one applies to the other –

    Adina kutnicki, Israel –

  • Chanameel

    Far Left is the Fifth Column of Islam.

  • Wayne

    V.P Al Gore just did a grave disservice to the American people. Mr. Gore rolled over and sold his soul to the devil – hope he is happy – he just set up a Terrorist PR Network inside America and he did it for CASH!

    In Sept. 2010 our company published a book called We Shall Never Forget 9/11 The Kids Book of Freedom (… ) during that time and since then:
    Our company and Iwas personally harassed, set-up, lied to, called names, people from dozens of countries wrote to me, emailed, threaten, called, laughed at and make fun of me because our company dared call a Terrorist a Terrorist!

    Reporters, staff and supporters from Al Jazeera, Iranian TV,PRESS TV, Hamas TV, Arab TV, the CAIR, on and on, constantly called demanded and threatened our company for
    Our website was hacked by a group of students from California who "loved" Al Jazeera.

    Al Jazeera and their pals, I think, will turn the Current TV network into a haven to undermine the American system. Just wait and see. I cannot believe a Vice President of the USA just sold out the American people!


  • patron

    I would point out the corruption in Chicago caused the crime. After the repeal of prohibition, organized crime boomed. They went into gambling, drugs, prostitution, grafting, robbery and extortion. Today they are into cyber crime, drugs, terrorism, and corrupting militaries.

    Outlawing liquor was stupid, but I would not confuse it with drunkenness is good. A significant drug decriminalization movement exists among libertarians. Due to the insidious evil of the modern drug cartel, the current leniancy shown in the judicial system for non-violent addicts and the awful health effects associated with addicts, modern decriminalization would be as impractical as prohibition in the 1920s. I would rather see big government reductions which promote morality, like mandatory sobriety for welfare than those which increase access to drugs sold by the most evil people in the world right now.

  • Johnconrad

    I laughed out loud while grimacing when I read of Al Zheimer.

    Very creatively put, and oh so true.

  • tanstaafl

    Think how bad off our country would be if Al Gorack had been elected President….. Oh, wait. We got Barack instead…..

  • wsk

    Didn't Al Capone die from syphillis? May the same fate befall Algore, weasel extrodinaire!

  • jaime

    Decriminalize all drugs and 50% of the jails will empty. The druglords in Mexico will go on welfare and the actual consumption of drugs in the USA will go down as the pushers will loose the monetary incentive. The alternate is increased consumption of drugs. Let American farmers and laboratories produce the best drugs in the world and sell it legally to the ouside world.

  • Jake Tobias

    Not a bad price, for a failed network from a pseudo-businessman, who had to get a divorce because he was too greedy, and cheep, to pay extra for a massage down south of his waist.